Opinion
Posted: 9 months ago

“Young Barristers” – Only Godoladze and North Korea Hide Seismic Data

The organization “Young Barristers” addresses Giga Zedania, Rector of Ilia State University, calling for decisive action on access to seismic information in Georgia, taking responsibility for seismic data openness, giving an opportunity to all scientists and interested parties to have free access to this data, as the complete earthquake catalogs (including small magnitude earthquakes) are open in all countries, except for the countries with governments such as North Korea and Russia, and information transparency makes Georgia one of them.

According to Archil Kaikatsishvili, head of “Young Barristers”, the issue concerns the country's seismic data, which is owned and operated by Ilia State University's Institute of Earth Sciences and the National Center for Seismic Monitoring. It turns out that the institution refuses to make seismic data available to science, and it is clarified that scientists receive this data from international databases, which contain scarce data for the territory of Georgia above magnitude 3. The organization was interested in studying the issue and requested information from various agencies on whether the state has a national seismic safety strategy and a unified vision or not, also, information about how accessible or open seismic data should be too interested people, especially to the science interested in meta-field research, whose claims about access to seismic data are fair.

Ilia State University, as a successful educational and scientific center in Georgia, shouldn’t act like North Korea.

As part of the study, the organization wrote a letter to the Georgian National Academy of Sciences and heard the official position on the issue of who owns the seismic data in Georgia. The Earth Sciences Department of the Academy believes that the request of the N. Nodia Institute of Geophysics is fair. At the same time, as it turns out, the head of the relevant unit of Ilia University, Tea Godoladze, categorically refuses to transfer this data.

After studying the practices of many countries around the world, we come to a sad conclusion - because of the actions of the director of the Seismic Center, Georgia resembles North Korea. Only Kim Jong Un and Tea Godoladze hide seismic data from scientists.

The organization “Young Barristers” continues to advocate on the issue. The organization has already addressed the Government of Georgia, the Parliament of Georgia, the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, the Emergency Management Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, the Georgian National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Earth Sciences of Ilia State University, the National Center for Seismic Monitoring and N. Nodia Institute of Geophysics. Accordingly, the organization expresses its readiness to raise the issue, including through common courts, if the issue of access to seismic data isn’t resolved by mutual agreement of the parties.